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Diagnosed by a Receptionist?

(153 Posts)
Hummingbird46 Sat 08-Apr-17 19:35:38

I have read a few of the comments regarding this issue of having to speak to the Doctor's receptionists about my systems in order to have an appointment. I feel very offended about this action especially as I am not one for seeing a doctor at the worst of times. And my last experienced I told the receptionist that I'd come out in a load of what looks like boils over most parts of my body and that I thought I might have measles I was told it was probably a allergy to something I'd eaten and I could attend a walk in clinic about 3 miles away. Hence I covered myself in calamine lotion and vaseline and stayed in only to find out that i had passed on Chicken pox to my grandchild. And now I have a more serious problem that I've been plagued with for years that ceased a year ago. and as come back which I needed to get a referral to see the specialist again. But I do not want to make that phone call that will lead me to either get rude or offended.

DoloresTheRunawayTrain Sat 08-Apr-17 19:38:43

You could try telling the receptionist that it's personal. Alternatively, you could question them on their medical qualifications and state the condition you have had to be referred to a specialist last time, so you highly doubt they would be able to suggest a treatment.

DoloresTheRunawayTrain Sat 08-Apr-17 19:40:13

You can present the latter argument as a statement of facts rather than in an "Oi which Christmas cracker did you get you medical qualifications out of" way.

RayofFuckingSunshine Sat 08-Apr-17 19:41:20

Phone to make the appointment and refuse to discuss the issue with them, specifically stating that last time a receptionist misdiagnosed you and as such you will only be speaking about it to someone with qualifications that enable them to make decisions about someone's health

Questioningeverything Sat 08-Apr-17 19:41:30

Just say you're not comfortable discussing your symptoms with anyone but the dr.
I had this at my last surgery, I fell for it a few times then it was something intimate (turned out to be thrush, but I'd never had it so how was I to know). She tried arguing it with me but I stood my ground. I then complained about her because when I went in and was booked and seated I heard her saying 'oh there's the snooty cow who won't tell her symptoms over the phone, obviously got something to hide' then laughed, all within earshot of entire waiting room. Bitch

bigchris Sat 08-Apr-17 19:42:28

Oh I hate this too, just queued yesterday for an appointment about recurring thrush and cystitis, receptionist told me no gp available could a nurse help and what's the problem
So had to say with queue behind listening
Then she said oh even if you see nurse you'll need antibiotics and only gp can sign prescription so told whole waiting room for nothing angry

RedHareWithBlondeHair Sat 08-Apr-17 19:42:34

You just politely hold your ground and tell receptionist that you'd like an appointment with the GP. Don't be drawn in however much they push and pull you about it. Just ask for the next available appointment and refuse to engage. If they really go overboard ask them what medical school they graduated from or that you refuse to discuss your medical history with anyone other than your GP.
You just need to stay cool, calm and collected. It's not anyone's business but that of yours and your GP's.

Questioningeverything Sat 08-Apr-17 19:43:07

My new surgery now only asks if I think it's medically urgent. If yes, I'm seen within 3hrs. If not, standard appointment made.

UppityHumpty Sat 08-Apr-17 19:45:23

At my surgery the medical receptionists are all nurses. So they do like to filter calls. But you don't have to tell them why you want to see the GO

Usernameinvalid16 Sat 08-Apr-17 19:52:08

At my gp our calls are triaged (like a&e) so we HAVE to tell the receptionist why we want an appointment so we can get a call back from the doctor. It's horrible and it makes me less likely to make an appointment when i need one. Your not even guaranteed to see a doctor. The last time my gp spoke to me over the phone.

frumpet Sat 08-Apr-17 20:01:18

Am quite suprised that a Grandparent has never seen a chicken pox rash in either their own children or friends children, think it is quite unusual to get it for the first time ( as opposed to shingles ) at the age that people are Grandparents ?

However , if you feel you need to see a Doctor , do not engage with the receptionist , just say you would rather not say but it is only something a Doctor can deal with .

BigcatLittlecat Sat 08-Apr-17 20:01:51

I once needed an emergency appointment on a sat morning for what turned out to be a cyst down below. The receptionist asked me what the problem was and I asked her if she was medically trained! I wasn't going to tell her! When I did see doctor he said, 'you want the morning after pill BigCat!' And stamped across my file in big red letters was emergency contraception! GP was most apologetic when I said no!

MatildaTheCat Sat 08-Apr-17 20:08:37

YABU because the receptionist said you could attend walk in three miles away. What is wrong with that? You may have already passed chicken pox on as its most infectious just before the spots appear but that's life. I agree she shouldn't have offered an opinion unless she is medically qualified but TBH your description of boils isn't actually typical of either measles or chicken pox.

Resources are so scarce, it may not be ideal but means GPS see the most urgent cases. However you did have the option to be seen but for some reason chose not to go.

BluePeppersAndBroccoli Sat 08-Apr-17 20:27:44

The issue there is if the receptionist says something oike'oh it's just a bad headache. Just go to the pharmacy and take paracetamol' and it turns out to be menegitis.

It's extremely hard to do do a diagnosis over the phone. I have seen people been misdiagnosed Iny a GP over the phone so a receptionist is certainly NOT in the position to make any comment like this.
It's not the issue that she is saying 'you can go to xx'. It's the fact she told the OP what it (allegedly) was.

As for going to xx, yes possible. But when you have been told it's just an allergy, why bothering to go when ressources are stretched, you might not be able to go there easily etc??

OP just say it's personal and which will see that with the GP.
Receptions are trying to triage people so they are looking for 'key symptoms' to know what to do.
As for letting the whole room know about what you have, you can also request to have a chat in privacy (little room on the side is just for that)

Rainydayspending Sat 08-Apr-17 20:33:56

Re those questiining the misdiagnosis and laying blame with OP: Perhaps that situation was a demonstration of how a medical person might have asked better questions rather than leap to assumptions. A receptionists role is clearly not to diagnose prior to appointment. Even if they've heard the same symptoms 50 times and X is the solution.

bottledatsource Sat 08-Apr-17 21:00:12

I would ask to speak to the secretary (I am one). Tell her/him you need a re-referral for that same condition (you could briefly say the symptoms are the same or they differ in whatever way). I would then pass the message on to the GP and they would re-refer. No need to waste a phone or face to face appointment.

ThisisMrsNicolaHicklin Sat 08-Apr-17 21:04:59

Receptionists really shouldn't be doing this. Triage, even face to face, is really, really hard and even well trained staff get it wrong.

LapinR0se Sat 08-Apr-17 21:08:19

I always say I have an acute UTI and need antibiotics. And if they make noises I say last time it went to my kidneys and it was a disaster. Always gets me past the wagons gatekeepers on reception.
Then when I see the GP I tell them what's actually wrong. None of them have ever questioned me so far.

hickorydickorynurseryrhyme Sat 08-Apr-17 21:13:25

I've worked in a surgery before and she shouldn't have said that you are right. They sometimes have to ask what the problem is but you don't have to disclose if you don't wish. It's their job to take down the information and then it's up to the doctor.

bottledatsource Sat 08-Apr-17 21:14:02

Lapin I was going to say that. Just make something up. Whats the difference?

Pixie2015 Sat 08-Apr-17 21:25:56

Are they just asking to make sure you see the correct clinical person - gps in your practice might have special skills or there may be a nurse practitioner, nurse or pharmacist that may sort you out.

Hassled Sat 08-Apr-17 21:38:49

I've always just been honest, and have never felt like I've had an inappropriate response. When it was something big and scary I had an appointment an hour later. I feel for them - no, they're not medically trained but they do also have to sort the wheat from the chaff, and prioritise the "I've got a lump in my breast" from the "I've had a bit of a sore throat for the last 12 hours". It can't be easy.

highinthesky Sat 08-Apr-17 21:42:18

To be fair, in asking, the receptionists are only doing what they are told by the GPs in the practice because appointments are so scarce compared to patient demand.

The mistake is giving out advice - clearly inappropriate in the absence of a healthcare qualification. You're much better off seeing your pharmacist / calling 111 if unsure of the seriousness, or requirements to see a doctor.

NeedsAsockamnesty Sat 08-Apr-17 21:45:16

I'm gobsmacked that someone old enough to be a grandparent couldn't identify very itchy blisters as chicken pox.

And it's not the sort of thing you need to see a doctor about

RB68 Sat 08-Apr-17 21:52:42

well it is if you haven't got a clue what it is. But also it could well have been shingles and then it is more serious

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